Close up of worried childThis is the third post in my “Understanding Child Support Laws in Las Vegas” series. My last post discussed the standard mathematical formula Clark County Family Courts use to determine child support payments. In this post, I will be discussing the circumstances in which the Courts may consider deviating from the typical formula.

Clark County Family Court Judges will sometimes vary a Las Vegas parent’s support amount if the child has special needs

There is no question that raising children is expensive. Most single parents feel they can use more money to support their children, whether they make a modest income or are extremely well off. Clark County Family Court Judges will consider deviating from the standard child support formula if a Las Vegas parent can prove that their child’s needs are not being met by the current support amount. A deviation must be based on special needs, and not on the wants of the child or the parent receiving payments.

The most common reason for a significant deviation is a child with special needs. Children with physical or mental health conditions may require special schools, tutoring, have significant medical bills, require special transportation, or have costly dietary requirements. A Nevada parent with primary physical custody of a special needs child may also be restricted in the number of hours they can may work due to the necessity of being at home. In this case, the parent with custody may present the Court with proof of the child’s necessary costs in the form of physician recommendations, bills, medical assessments, etc. The Family Court Judge has a great deal of leeway when it comes to granting an increase in child support, however, any deviation from the projected amount, or statutory caps, will be strictly based on necessary expenses. If the other party believes the expenses are unnecessary or extravagant, then they may argue as such, and a Judge will make a ruling.

A Nevada judge may set child support higher or lower than projected based on unusual circumstances

Children with special needs are not the only reason why a family court Judge may deviate from the standard formula. In cases in which one parent lives outside of Las Vegas, and the child requires transportation in order to visit, the Judge may choose to set the noncustodial parent’s child support payments as either higher or lower depending on the circumstances of the case. Other factors a Judge may take into account is if either parent is responsible for caring for another dependent adult, if the child receives public assistance, and the amount of time each parent spends with the child. Another factor the court may take into account is if one parent has multiple children with different partners. The court may be willing to reduce the percentage of child support you pay to one parent, if you currently already have high child support payments to someone else.

When a child support case is not “typical” then there is a great deal of room to argue for a change to the standard payment. However, it is important to have a Las Vegas child support lawyer who is able to prove that the deviation you are asking for is consistent with the needs of your child or is based off of your other financial obligations. If you require an adjustment to your child support payments then do not attempt to represent yourself. Our attorneys can make the best argument supporting your point of view. Contact our office today.